Brian James, a highly respected leader in law enforcement, has been named chief of UNC Police, effective July 1, Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz announced in a campus message May 13.
James comes to Carolina following his impending retirement from the police chief position at the Greensboro Police Department, where his successes included helping secure mental health resources for his team and the community, participating in community conversations regarding policing and implementing a program to help teenagers gain employment.
“In our recruitment for a new police chief, the search committee made it the highest priority not just to find someone with police and safety experience, but also to find a leader who puts the community first and has a history of developing relationships within their community,” Guskiewicz wrote. “I am confident that Chief James upholds these values.”
At Carolina, James will work to continue bridging and developing relationships between UNC Police and members of the campus and local community. Chief James believes that great relationships and trust building will be the cornerstone to shared success, the message continued. He will also focus on the retention of current staff and recruitment of top applicants to maintain a high quality of service to the Carolina community.
Chief James will oversee all law enforcement services at the University. The department provides around-the-clock patrol services to the campus and University-owned properties 365 days a year.
“I am grateful for our police who work tirelessly every day to keep our campus and community safe,” Guskiewicz wrote.
Chief James has served the Greensboro Police Department and the city for 26 years, working his way up the ranks. He has also served as deputy chief of the police patrol bureau, deputy chief of the police investigative bureau, deputy chief of the police support bureau, captain of the resource management division, captain of the central patrol division, captain of the training division and captain of the patrol operations division, among other positions.
Chief James holds a master of business administration from Pfeiffer University and a bachelor of science in business administration from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. He is a graduate of the 251st session of the FBI National Academy.
Chief James was selected after a highly competitive national search, and the search committee strongly endorsed him as the public safety leader most well suited to lead UNC Police.
“I am excited to join the UNC-Chapel Hill community, and I am grateful for this opportunity,” James said. “I look forward to building great relationships with the campus community and the surrounding community as we work to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff. I am thrilled to be a part of a world class University and look forward to playing a role in achieving the overall mission of UNC to include providing a high-quality education experience for our students.”
In the message, the chancellor thanked the members of the search committee and its chair, Darrell Jeter, director of emergency management and planning.
“I also wish to thank Interim UNC Police Chief Rahsheem Holland, who has provided steadfast leadership over the past year. Chief Holland will return to his position of captain and will assist Chief James with his transition,” Guskiewicz wrote. “I am confident that Chief James will have the same positive impact on our community that he did for more than two decades in Greensboro. I hope you will join me in welcoming him to campus.”